With the recent disasters from different countries including the political ones, economy is greatly affected. In tough times like this, it's so hard to trust your investments / money to anybody or institution. I would feel hesitant to talk with a financial / investment agent because I might think of this person to be another Bernard Madoff. I don't have the amount of money which Madoff victims invested but even though, it's really hard for me to trust anyone on this tough times where USA is still in slow pace economic recovery stage. Sometimes you would think that it's better to keep your investment in the bank than to invest in the stock market which is too risky and unstable right now. But for the people that are fully equipped with knowledge and experience in investing in stock market, they could handle each risk that they're taking and of course usually their investments are already huge. For an ordinary person like me, investing % of our salary every month for retirement and college fund into stock market is a huge risk because losing them is hard to imagine what more to accept. I just thought of this matter due to the recent effect of disaster in Japan in the stock market. It's a devastating one for Japan but for the Japanese being known as industrious, dedicated and skilled, they will surpass this one.